India has released new data showing that more than 70 percent of its people live in villages, with the majority extremely poor and dependent on manual labor.

The data from India's socio-economic and caste census released Friday covers the period between 2011 and 2013. It's the first time India has studied caste data since 1932.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says the data would help the government to properly channel its welfare spending to benefit those in need.

India conducts a census every 10 years. It examines the wealth, living conditions and other details of the country's 1.2 billion people.

The previous government initiated a separate process of studying castes and analyzing socio-economic progress based on those divisions.